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    Tom Cissell's Avatar
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    Default History of Egress Requirements

    Does anyone have a history of bedroom window egress requirements. I have inspected a home built in 1983 and it has replacement windows that do not meet current requirements. I am wondering if requirements have changed since then and if so, what were the original requirements.

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    Default Re: History of Egress Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    Does anyone have a history of bedroom window egress requirements. I have inspected a home built in 1983 and it has replacement windows that do not meet current requirements. I am wondering if requirements have changed since then and if so, what were the original requirements.
    The code that applies will be the code in effect when the windows were replaced, not the code when the house was built.

    Many (most) inspectors report safety issues regardless of what code was in effect.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Tom Cissell's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Egress Requirements

    Thanks. I have since been advised on another forum that replacement windows are built with easily removable sashes so that effectively doubles the space I thought there was for egress.


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    Default Re: History of Egress Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    Thanks. I have since been advised on another forum that replacement windows are built with easily removable sashes so that effectively doubles the space I thought there was for egress.
    You might want to check with your local AHJ. You will find that is quite incorrect.


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    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Egress Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    Thanks. I have since been advised on another forum that replacement windows are built with easily removable sashes so that effectively doubles the space I thought there was for egress.
    Those windows do not pass the test emergency escape and rescue openings, and that test is this:
    - R310.1.4 Operational constraints. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge.

    Being as standard windows are not readily removable for use as emergency escape and rescue openings, and those windows have a sequence to readily remove the sashes to obtain the emergency egress window opening size, those windows require "special knowledge".

    Additionally:
    - R310.1.1 Minimum opening area. All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.530 m2).
    - - Exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet (0.465 m2).
    - R310.1.2 Minimum opening height. The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches (610 mm).
    - R310.1.3 Minimum opening width. The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches (508 mm).

    The above means the window, when opened, meets the "minimum net clear opening" requirements, not that when you disassemble the window the minimum open area is met.

    I.e.,:
    - a) casement type windows: when you crank the window open to its fully open position the minimum opening size is met
    - b) single/double hung type windows: when you raise the lower sash to its fully open position the minimum opening size is met
    - c) sliders/horizontal roller type windows: when you slide/roll the window to its fully open position the minimum opening size is met
    - d) awning type windows: when you crank the window open to it fully open position the minimum opening size is met

    The operational feature common to all of the above is that when 'you open the window all the way' - which does not include removing any part of the window - the minimum opening size is met.

    Now, regarding code, the minimum size of EERO windows which are replaced are those of the code it was constructed under with some hedging toward the current code.

    The ICC Existing Building Code addresses two types of "Change of Occupancy":
    - 1) where not change in the occupancy classification takes place
    - 2) were a change in the occupancy classification takes place

    From the 2009 ICC Existing Building Code:
    - 202
    - - CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY. In the purpose or level of activity within a building that involves a change in application of the requirements of this code.

    - 901.1 Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall apply where a change of occupancy occurs, as defined in Section 202, including:
    - - 1. Where the occupancy classification is not changed, or
    - - 2. Where there is a change in occupancy classification or the occupancy group designation changes.

    - 901.2 Change in occupancy with no change of occupancy classification. A change in occupancy, as defined in Section 202, with no change of occupancy classification shall not be made to any structure that will subject the structure to any special provisions of the applicable International Codes, including the provisions of Sections 902 through 911, without the approval of the code official. A certificate of occupancy shall be issued where it has been determined that the requirements for the change in occupancy have been met.
    - - 901.2.1 Repair and alteration with no change of occupancy classification. Any repair or alteration work undertaken in connection with a change of occupancy that does not involve a change of occupancy classification shall conform to the applicable requirements for the work as classified in Chapter 4 and to the requirements of Sections 902 through 911.
    - - - Exception: As modified in Section 1105 for historic buildings.

    For a change in occupancy with NO change in occupancy classification: no requirements for the EEROs.

    For a change in occupancy WITH a change in occupancy classification: (these are more restrictive than when there is no change in occupancy classification)
    - 912.4.1 Means of egress for change to higher hazard category. When a change of occupancy classification is made to a higher hazard category (lower number) as shown in Table 912.4, the means of egress shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 10 of the International Building Code.
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 7. An existing operable window with clear opening area no less than 4 square feet (0.38 m2) and with minimum opening height and width of 22 inches (559 mm) and 20 inches (508 mm), respectively, shall be accepted as an emergency escape and rescue opening.

    Even for a change in occupancy classification there is no requirement to go with a larger window than is already installed, with the possible exception of an operable window which is less than "4 square feet", in which case that become a call THE building official of the AHJ will make.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Tom Cissell's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Egress Requirements

    Thanks. I'm not sure what all change of occupancy classification means.


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    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Egress Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    Thanks. I'm not sure what all change of occupancy classification means.
    Let's say the house is used as a single family dwelling, that would be an R-3 Occupancy.

    Now the house is sold and it is converted into a bed and breakfast inn, that would be an R-2 Occupancy.

    Now the house is sold and it is converted into a lawyers office, that would be a B Occupancy.

    Those would be changes in occupancy classification.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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